Libraries, Not Schools

Joel HammonUncategorized

Four teens gathered in front of a wire fence, one has a big smile with his hands out.

When people first hear about self-directed learning it sounds like a crazy idea–everything is optional; young people have the freedom to follow their interests and decide how to spend their time; no grades, credits, or diplomas, just learning for learning’s sake. It sounds crazy, but it’s not. Self-directed learning is actually quite ordinary, and we have many opportunities and institutions … Read More

Fridays Unplugged

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Many cutout snowflakes hanging from the ceiling

On a typical morning drive to work, I pulled into the local gas station, still holding a conversation on my bluetooth. I turned off the car, transferred the call to speakerphone, and rolled down the window.  “Fill ‘er up, please.”   Next, purse.  But, no…no, no, no, noooo. “I can’t find my purse.” “Cash or card ma’am?” “Are you serious? Do … Read More

Boy, You’re Gonna Carry that Weight

Alexis SellersUncategorized

Masked teen sitting on the wall behind Bucks center, enjoying a sunny warm day in march.

We just went through a wild year. And that is putting it lightly. A pandemic, everything that goes with the pandemic, civil unrest, a riling election, climate disasters, you name it. Weren’t there also aliens at some point? And here we are now, in 2021, still going through it. We’ve all been going through it in our own individual ways … Read More

Time Well Spent

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Selfie of Katy with her daughter with some homemade donuts and a special-looking drink on the table

I have to be honest. There was a period when my kids were younger that I just didn’t feel like playing with them, ever. I was going through big ordeals in my life and the thought of making slime or playing Barbies didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. In fact, it felt downright torturous, and every time I promised … Read More

Getting Back to the Garden

Paul ScuttUncategorized

A group of kids picking pumpkins

Natural curiosity, love, and a fertile environment are enough to allow the growth of an intelligent and happy young being who walks and talks and, by playing, continues to learn.

Not Your Typical Article on Childhood Play

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Katys barbie pool from when she was a girl, 1988

We value play for the experiential learning…learning about the external world and how to interact with others. This is true and noteworthy, but I wonder about the value of play as a form of self expression and self-discovery.

Gym Class and Motivation

Scott GallagherUncategorized

homemade cardboard boat racing through river rapids

As an English teacher in public school for 17 years, I always felt frustrated by, and a little jealous of, the Phys Ed. teachers. Phys. Ed. class seemed to be a kind of outlier in school, and the teachers were able to operate in a value system totally different from the rest of school. I wished the value system of … Read More

Avoiding Nature Deficit Disorder

Paul ScuttUncategorized

A number of kids balanced in trees

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” — John Muir Spring shows up in the warmth of the sun, the softening of the earth and the vigour of natural life all around us. The trees start to bud, the flowers burst out of the ground, the grass gets thicker, the birds … Read More

Honing a Hyperfocusing Habit

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Looking at a landscape through a camera lens - upsidedown and backwards

If you didn’t read my last blog post on hyperfocusing, you’ll want to do that first. There I delved into what hyperfocusing is and is not. Here I would like to address the chaotic nature of hyperfocusing with some practical advice. If you did read that post, you know that the trouble isn’t hyperfocusing per se, but the challenges it … Read More

The Indistractible Child

Katy BurkeUncategorized

a teenager hyperfocused on painting

Schools call it a problem, the flip side of distractibility and an identifying feature of ADD (ironically). Entrepreneurs and some progressive corporations call it a superpower, the heartbeat of “Deep Work”. For good or for bad, ‘’hyperfocus” has our attention, mine included — not as an academic or scholar on the subject, but as someone who has lived with it my … Read More